If you have an interest in the medical field but do not necessarily want to deal directly with core medical practices, you can pursue a career as a cath lab technician.
This article is going to discuss who a cath lab technician is, its job description and education requirements.
So, read right to the end as every piece of information that’ll be shared in this article is important.
First, we’re going to properly define and explain who a cath lab technician is.
Who is A Cath Lab Technician
A specialist who specializes in the field of cardiovascular technology is called a cath lab technician.
Operating rooms are where cardiovascular techs spend most of their time at work.
For invasive cardiovascular operations including angioplasty, cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology, cath lab technicians are essential team members.
Cath Lab Technician Job Description
In some hospitals, a cath lab technician’s job duties can include helping surgeons place pacemakers or stents and assist with open-heart surgery.
Again, in these situations, the technologist will be in charge of prepping and supervising the patient.
Reading, interpreting, and explaining test processes to patients are among the daily non-surgical responsibilities that cath lab technicians have.
They stand a lot during surgical procedures and may even be asked to assist in lifting and transferring patients.
Other primary responsibilities and duties that all fall under the job description of a cath lab technician are listed below.
- Through active communication and thorough reporting of essential patient care information and data, a Cath lab technician works hand in hand with all members of the patient care team.
- They must adhere to radiation safety regulations and carry out all imaging operations in line with them. Also, they should use immobilization and radiation protection for patients appropriately during diagnostic procedures.
- A Cath lab technician maintains appropriate aseptic practices, and sterile techniques for procedures, and assures adherence to infection control protocols.
- Respects the safety standards, procedures, and policies of the job, the department, and the hospital.
- They must ensure that any imaging equipment has undergone the required QC and is operating safely before it is put to use.
- They frequently carry out preventive maintenance, call for service as necessary, and notify management of any problems.
- Handles interventional and therapeutic cardiac or electrophysiology operations, including ablations and device implantation in electrophysiology, as well as peripheral and coronary angioplasty, stents, rotavators, atherectomy, laser, and coronary ultrasound.
- To optimize the best image of a patient’s heart architecture, a cath lab technician also studies several radiographic techniques.
- By putting several radiologic principles into practice to achieve peak performance, a cath lab technician provides care for the patient’s physical demands.
Positioning, physiology, preparation for the procedure, and technical aspects are included.
- Understanding the difficulties or constraints associated with specific methods and modifying technical aspects to attain desired imaging findings.
- Directly assists doctors with diagnostic or special operations, helping with sterile technique, for example.
- He continually employs aseptic techniques, adheres to infection control protocols, and maintains correct standard precautions for procedures.
- Remains committed to the departmental, hospital, and job safety standards, procedures, and regulations.
- Prior to usage, confirms that all imaging equipment has undergone the necessary QC and is functioning safely.
- Calls for service if necessary, frequently performs preventive maintenance, and reports any issues to management.
- Offers precise and thorough records of patient procedures.
- Along with washing and shaving, the cath lab technician gets the patient ready for the procedure by anaesthetizing the insertion site for cardiac catheterization for angioplasty.
Cath Lab Tech Educational Requirements
For entry-level positions, the majority of businesses or companies looking to hire would first require an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree. One can earn these degrees at a junior or community college.
The student will be studying surgical equipment, cardiovascular physiology, and physical concepts of medicine in the first year of study in lecture and laboratory settings.
The second year will provide more emphasis on the technologist’s area of specialization and involve clinical work in hospitals, on-campus lectures, and lab work.
On-the-job training makes up a sizable amount of a cath lab technician’s education too.
A prospective catch lab technologist may start this training while enrolled in a degree program, or some cases, an employer may hire them on a volunteer or work-study basis.
It is crucial to adhere to admission and application standards because many schools that do offer ICT training only accept applications once a year and have limited class sizes due to the highly specialized nature of the curriculum.
All applicants must also have completed high school to be eligible.
Although students who currently hold an associate’s degree could be able to meet requirements using courses taken for that degree, some general education credits may be necessary before program-specific courses can be taken.
Furthermore, although not always necessary, CPR certification is a standard requirement. Students will need to provide documentation of their health and immunization histories when applying.
Courses You Can Take During a Cath Lab Technician Program
A variety of general education requirements, including ethics, psychology, and anatomy and physiology, are included in associate’s degree programs for cath lab technicians.
Some of these courses might also be necessary for certificate programs. The main curriculum for a cath lab technician program starts with more fundamental subjects like an introduction to healthcare, technical writing, and medical terminology.
Invasive cardiology, cardiovascular pharmacology, critical care applications, and radiation biology and safety are among the most advanced associate’s degree courses or those that are prominent in certificate programs.
A large clinical training or externship component is also a part of ICT programs, with over 1,000 hours of practical experience often needed.
Certifications Needed to Work as a Cath Lab Technician
The Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) certificate, is offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International and is the most widely accepted certification for invasive cardiac technologists (CCI).
Graduates of accredited ICT programs will be qualified to take the RCIS certification exam.
The first renewal is necessary nine to twelve months after certification, and all subsequent renewals are every three years with a continuing education requirement that must be satisfied.
Also, keep in mind that this certification must then be maintained through renewal.
Becoming a cath lab technician is definitely a thrilling experience and has proven to be a great career choice.
If you’re seeking an unconventional career in medicine, then becoming a catch lab technician would be your ideal choice.
If you have any further questions relating to what has been discussed in this article, you can share them with us in the comments section.